About Us

Mission Statement

The mission of Winyah Rivers Foundation is to protect, preserve, monitor and revitalize the health of the lands and waters of the greater Winyah Bay watershed.

Winyah Rivers Foundation was incorporated as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in 2001. We are a grassroots organization of people from North and South Carolina who are convinced that the preservation of our local rivers and their watersheds would best be served by hiring advocates to protect clean water. The Foundation seeks to ensure that the land and water uses support a high quality of life for all human and natural uses. Clean water is essential for a healthy community and a healthy economy.


Winyah Rivers Foundation watches over the watersheds in the Lower PeeDee Basin, identified by the United States Geologic Survey as Hydrologic Unit Code (HUC) 030402.

This large watershed represents a drainage area of 11,700 square miles and includes the Waccamaw, Lumber, Little PeeDee, Lower PeeDee, Lynches, Black and Sampit Rivers.

Collectively this is referred to as the greater Winyah Bay watershed because all rivers ultimately discharge into Winyah Bay at Georgetown, South Carolina. Winyah Bay is the third largest estuary on the eastern seaboard. 


In 2002, Winyah Rivers Foundation received a license from WATERKEEPER® ALLIANCE for the Waccamaw RIVERKEEPER® Program. The Waccamaw Riverkeeper is a full-time, paid advocate for the Waccamaw River watershed and implements education and advocacy programs focused on this 1,640 square mile watershed in North and South Carolina.


As a member of WATERKEEPER® ALLIANCE and the Waterkeeper movement, our vision is for
fishable, swimmable, drinkable water for our families and our future.


Join Winyah Rivers Foundation to support our work!


Our Commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Winyah Rivers Foundation, Inc. does not and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, in any of its activities or operations. Our diversity policy is located here.


Winyah Rivers Foundation, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, EIN 57-1118288. Donations are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.

IRS Determination Letter

Our financial information (Form 990) can be accessed here:

2016 Form 990

2015 Form 990

2014 Form 990

2013 Form 990

2012 Form 990

Strategic Planning

In 2016, Winyah Rivers Foundation undertook a strategic planning process with the assistance of Nancy Bracken and the financial support of the Waccamaw Community Foundation. The Strategic Plan can be accessed here:

Strategic Plan

Board of Directors

Rev. Ron Hartman of Murrells Inlet, SC -  President Tom Badgett, DMD of Conway, SC
Vacant - Vice President Joseph Jacobs, III of Nakina, NC
Michelle Lewis, MBA of Kingstree, SC - Treasurer Dan Hitchcock, PhD of Pawley's Island, SC
Martha Smith of Conway, SC - Secretary Greg Mitchell of Surfside Beach, SC
  Richard Moore, PhD of Pawley's Island, SC
  Bob Moran, Esq. of Pawley's Island, SC
  Clay Swenson of Calabash, NC
  Jessie White, Esq. of Pawleys Island, SC
  Leslie Wilson of Conway, SC
  Reggie Daves, MD of Conway, SC
  Doug Smith of Whiteville, NC
  Debra Buffkin of Nichols, SC

Our Board of Directors meets twice annually to review and direct the activities of staff in relation to our mission. In addition, our Board is organized into sections; a south section, mid section and a north section. Each section meets annually, at a minimum, separate from the semi-annual full Board meetings. Minutes are taken at all board meetings and are available upon request. Board members are involved in various committees including the Finance Committee and Fundraising Event Committee. Board members are not compensated. Board members serve our organization as volunteers and are financially contributing members of Winyah Rivers Foundation.

We invite you to join us in our mission. 

How passionate are you about our cause? What personal aspirations of yours could be enhanced by serving on our board? How much time can you give us?

Please complete the Board Member Responsibilities and Application Form.

Scientific Advisory Board

Dr. Dennis M. Allen, University of South Carolina's Baruch Institute and Marine Science Program, Georgetown, SC
Dr. William Conner, Clemson University's Baruch Institute of Coastal Ecology and Forest Science, Georgetown, SC
Dr. Daniel Hitchcock, Clemson University's Baruch Institute of Coastal Ecology and Forest Science, Georgetown, SC
Dr. Susan Libes, Coastal Carolina University's Waccamaw Watershed Academy Conway, SC
Dr. Stan Riggs, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC